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City Leaders Discuss Moving Pine Bluff Police Patrol Division into Neighborhood

City leaders in Pine Bluff have suggested uprooting an entire division of the police department and moving it across town.
PINE BLUFF, AR - City leaders in Pine Bluff have suggested uprooting an entire division of the police department and moving it across town.

An effort to curb the crime in that area of Pine Bluff sparked the idea for Alderman Steven Mays.

Safety and money concerns top the arguments against the idea.

City leaders discussed the proposed ordinance for the first time at Monday's (5/20) city council meeting.

Retired Pine Bluff teacher, Terry Smith, has lived in his home on Myrtle Street for 25 years.

He explained, "I've had three break-ins since I've lived here."

Smith agrees that's three too many. The possibility of the Pine Bluff Police Department moving an entire division into his neighborhood has him hoping for a safer place to live.

He said, "I do feel like the visibility of the police department and their presence will help to deter crime."

That's exactly why Alderman Steven Mays has pushed the new ordinance that would move the Patrol Division of the Police Department into the empty building on the corner of North Myrtle Road and Birch Street.

The building would be rent free. It's a former armory. The US Army donated the building to the City of Pine Bluff.

According to Mays the city pays at least $20k a year for their current Patrol Division building.

It will take taxpayer money to move and renovate.

Some city leaders feel they should spend your money wiser and use it for current operations and renovations of buildings.

Mays argues that it can save the city money but its more about safety.

"You can make a whole community safer plus you have police cars in there," Mays remarked.

Smith, who would live two houses down from the proposed site, has no problem with the idea.

He said, "I would feel safer going out of town myself."

He'll have to wait however, on the city council to make a decision.

"I hope they do what is best for the city," Smith added.

The City Council moved to send the proposed ordinance to the Public Safety Committee to receive their recommendation to be heard along with the ordinance's second reading.
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